History of magnets
HISTORY OF MAGNETS AND MAGNET THERAPY
It appears that magnet was discovered several hundred years before Jesus Christ. One story of its discovery is very interesting. There is a story according to which, a vast area called Magnesia in Asia Minor was enriched with the black iron ore composed of iron and oxygen – Fe304 (Ferrosoferric oxide). The local inhabitants found the ore having powers of attraction and named it ‘Magnetite’ as it was first found in Magnesia.
Magnes, a shepherd boy, about 2,500 years ago, was walking, wearing an iron piled sandal, on Mount Ida and suddenly he found the movement was not easy. His sandal got stuck on the rocks and for every step he had to take; he had to put in extra effort. The rock, in fact, was full of ‘lodestones’, which had intrinsic power of attraction. The stone, as the story goes, was named after the shepherd boy Magnes, and later came to be known as ‘Magnet’.
It is seen that Aristotle, Plato and Hanon (850 BC) were talking about lodestones in their works.
Later about 200 years ago, Chinese sailors used magnets as a compass, and called it ‘leading stone’. Chinese medical practitioners were of the view that the all pervading magnetic field also plays part in harnessing our natural physical energy and has a role to play in safeguarding living beings from any ailment. To them it is ‘Wei chi’ – defence energy or protective energy.
It was a Physician from Switzerland – P A Paracelsus – 1493-1541 – who recognized the therapeutic powers of magnets. He made a relevant observation, which is, ‘…that which constitutes a magnet is an attraction force which is beyond our understanding, but, which nevertheless causes an attraction of iron and other things. Magnetic treatment was in all inflammation, influxes, and ulcerations, in diseases of uterus and bowels, in internal as well as external diseases…’
Dr. William Gilbert of England (Colchester) 1540-1603 AD, made a scientific study of electricity and magnetism and wrote a path-breaking book entitled ‘De Magnet’
An English scientist, Michael Faraday (1791-1867 AD), made extensive discoveries and had come to be known as the founder of Biomagnetics. He is the one who worked to point out that all matter is magnetic and they are either repelled or attracted by a magnetic field.
The Chinese called the magnet ‘Chu Shi’ the French called it ‘Aimant’ whereas the Greeks called it ‘Magnetis’
Dr Mesmer (1734-1815), who was known to be the father of hypnotism, in fact ‘mesmerism’ came to be known from his name, Father Hall of Austria, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the father of Homoeopathy are some of the pioneers who contributed their might for the development of Magnetic Therapy.
Earth is a mammoth natural magnet and its influence on living beings on this planet is being studied with amazement over the years.
Earth’s Magnetism – What is the source?
There are different thoughts espoused by different thinkers. Some of them are:
Magnets – Properties:
Magnets have 2 Poles – North and South. If a magnet – let us take a bar shaped one – is tied in the middle with a string and suspended in a central location, one end of it invariably points towards North and the other end towards South. It is the basic experiment taught in elementary schools!
A peculiar thing about magnets is that, if a large magnet is broken down into two equal parts, both the magnets have the same power of the large one! And each will, now have, North and South poles! A physicist Webber theorized that magnets are structured to have magnetic molecules, all tiny magnets with typical polarity at each end!
Magnetic line of force:
Let us, again do a basic experiment conducted at elementary schools. Collect some pins, put them on a paper and if you place a magnet over the paper, the pins will rearrange themselves on the paper from which it would be clearly visible many paths of pins around the magnet indicating the lines of force. Where you find more pins in a jumble, it shows that the strength of the magnet at that point is more.
It has been recorded that the Earth’s magnetic field reaches well up to 66,000 miles into the space from the periphery of Earth.
Why does a magnet always point to North and South?
It has been established that the natural or geographic South Pole of Earth is identified with the North Pole of Earth’s magnet, if we consider Earth as a huge magnet, which is true, and the natural or geographic North Pole of Earth is identified with the South Pole of Earth’s magnet. This is why a suspended magnet always points towards North South direction. It is clear that the Earth’s magnetic Poles and it’s geographical, or Natural pole are not in sync.
Substances: There are 3 types of substances on which a magnet can act.
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